More Proof that DeSantis is on the Right Track in Florida

Now weirdos are self-expelling themselves from Florida.  Forget Disney. Florida is the happiest place on Earth.  But honestly it’s all just talk.  They’ll stay because they need the security and safety that comes from living under a sane and realistic government.  If they went to California or New York they might be “officially” favorite citizens but they would still have to worry that the people even crazier than them might decide to attack them just for fun.

Keep up the good work Ron DeSantis.  As the saying goes, “You know you’re over the target when you’re taking flak.”

More than half of LGBTQ parents in Florida say they are considering leaving the state


H/T To the Conservative Treehouse for this link to Neil Oliver’s Christmas Story

Neil is a truly compelling speaker and he often captures in words the feelings we all have.  This poignant story of heroism is remarkable.  And his remarks afterward about saving ourselves in this world of useless “leaders” resonates with how I feel.


Elon and the Deplorables

Elon Musk has jumped into the middle of the culture war with both feet you could say.  He’s spent fifty-five billion dollars buying a company that the Left thinks must belong to them and that has ticked off the powers that be.  He’s refused to disenfranchise the various deniers; COVID, climate, election, you name it.  He’s even pardoned Donald Trump.  And now he’s unbanned everyone who hasn’t broken the law getting kicked off.  He’s a heretic and must be punished!

Essentially, he’s embraced the deplorables.  Why?  I have a theory.

I think Elon Musk sees an opportunity.  The cultural divide in the United States is a powerful force.  And power, if harnessed correctly is one of the most valuable commodities there is.  The endless conflict between the Left and Right on Twitter is far from a useful activity.  Nevertheless, it is an energetic process.  It doesn’t produce much light but it does produce heat.  And heat is a kind of energy.  And it attracts attention and in some ways that was the main product that Twitter sold during the Trump presidency.  Even with the biased treatment of the two political sides there was an active interest in the antics on Twitter.

And yet Twitter never made any money.  And as the field of battle on Twitter became more and more tilted against the Right it lost more and more money.  I think Elon realized that Twitter was run by very stupid people that had no clue how to harness the tool they’d been given by the government.  After all, the big tech companies exist because the intelligence agencies subsidize their operation in order to use their data feeds as surveillance resources.

I think he realized that if someone smart were running things a profit could be extracted from the operation.  And I’m only guessing, but I suspect he would like to use the outsider status of the deplorables as a marketing mechanism.  Here is an enormous pool of people who have been demonized, mocked and whose purchase preferences have been the target of a campaign of eradication.  Think about it.  Hollywood, television and the major corporations have outlawed anything that doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace and display the woke message.  Old movies and shows have to be remade just to insert abnormal sexual lifestyles and minority characters.  In fact, Hollywood has an actual quota system for actors and production crew.  Straight white men need not apply.

Suppose Elon has decided that this large unappreciated market that is just sitting, waiting for someone to embrace it could make him a lot of money.  Wouldn’t he be the obvious person to take advantage?  And the beauty of it is he doesn’t even have to lose the other part of the market.  He doesn’t have to reject the woke.  All he needs to do is provide an option for each side.

Door Number One could be the present woke system.  It would have all the rainbow and BLM flags flying in the breeze.  There would be trans this, trans that and trans the other thing as far as the eye could see.  Basically, he just links to Disney and Amazon.  But to take advantage of the other half of the world it would require Door Number Two.

It could be a tiny button with a huge warning label that cautioned the general public that down this path are forbidden things.  Books and movies where the cowboys are the good guys and Thomas Jefferson isn’t a monster.  There would be historical dramas about Rome and Greece, Tudor England and the Age of Exploration, where all the actors were (gasp!) white.  It would have an explicit bias toward normalcy and it would be unabashedly proud of the western tradition.  Even Christopher Columbus would still have a place of honor.  Every boy meets girl plot line would feature a real boy and a real girl.  Oh, the horror.  Someone alert GLAAD.

So, Elon Musk is positioned to take advantage of almost half the population looking for someone to sponsor them and sell them things that somehow are now forbidden.  He could be the Jeff Bezos of the Right. His Lord of the Rings series wouldn’t have to have trans-hobbits and boss-girl Galadriel.  He could just follow the books.  His payment system could be PayPal or it could be his own.  And it could be a bank and a crowd funding platform too.  As he’s said he could have his own cell-phone company too.  None of this stuff is rocket science and he is a rocket scientist!  All these things could be packaged to people who currently feel left out by the woke business world.  All he has to do is take our money and get richer.

So, think about it Elon.  Currently you’re losing a billion dollars a year catering to woke snowflakes who spend all their time complaining about their feelings and are too cheap to pay eight dollars a month to be certified on your website that they spend all their time on.  Or you can sell things to people who like to pay cash, believe two plus two equals four, can tell the difference between a man and a woman and only ask for the minimum of respect.  It’s a pretty easy choice.

22OCT2022 – OCF Update – Sony Photography


Politics has been so all consuming lately that I haven’t had a chance to write about anything else.  But in the last month or so there’s been a lot of buzz about Sony’s imminent release of their latest update of the high resolution camera, the A7R V.  When I’m interested in breathless reporting I go to and listen as Andrea tells us confusing and sometimes inconsistent things about the future.

The Sony A7R cameras are very nice pieces of kit and using them for macro is a very attractive proposition with their 61 megapixel sensors and other high resolution accoutrements.  But 61 megapixels is a little bit more than I think I need.  Plus the price tag is now coming in above $4,000.  And for a man of my limited means that’s beginning to seem high.  Plus I do a sort of mixed landscape, macro, walk-around photography that seems to play to the Sony A7 IV all-around camera sweet spot.  So let’s just say that my interest in the Sony A7 V hullabaloo is more on the academic side.

But what did intrigue me was the talk about AI based autofocus.  And here’s why.  I’ve been hearing and reading from various sides that phone cameras are catching up with dedicated professional cameras.  And the reason given for this is that phone cameras have highly intelligent algorithms that provide very precise autofocus and excellent sharpening and color representation.  And that as we reach the limits of what lenses and mechanical devices can do for optical focusing and image stabilization it will be this advanced artificial intelligence that will render phones as the future of photography.

Now, currently I don’t think things are really all that simple.  In fact I’ve spoken to some photographers who have very good phone cameras and they say that although they get very nice shots from their phones, they wouldn’t put one of these files up against a full frame landscape shot as a source for a large print or even as a basis for a cropped photo.  Apparently there is a bit of surface magic going on that doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

But that being said, I am positive that adding a strong algorithm to a very good camera like any of the various Sony A7, A9 or A1 cameras would be a very useful and fruitful step.  For things like birds in flight and sports tracking it would be a step in the right direction.  Just like the eye-AF function was a game changer for good focus, having a program with many times the speed of human reflexes concentrating on evaluating the auto focus and recognizing the changes to the image and anticipating the expected changes to the focus result would improve results greatly.  Even for something like fast moving insect macro photography, having the latest algorithm to optimize the changes in focus point would provide a much higher rate of success in something that has a very short time window.  I could imagine that specialized algorithms might be available for individual subjects like birds in flight or hovering hummingbirds or even butterflies on flowers.

As you can see I’ve let my imagination run away with me but I’m sure there are sports photographers salivating over the idea of an algorithm specifically formulated for football wide receivers running for catches down the side line.  Or how about one specially formulated for NBA stars pretending to be fouled to obtain a penalty shot?

Anyway, I’m intrigued by just what AI may have in store for us in the future.  One thing I hope is that a lot of it might be available as a firmware update to our already very capable cameras.  But honestly I’m not very aware of exactly what capability my camera’s “Bionz-XR image processor has.  It may be a genius or a dolt.  So I’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile my present camera has been doing a splendid job of taking all the pictures I ask of it.  At this point I have no need of an upgrade.  All I ever watch nowadays is the new lens info.  And even that is sort of a reflex.

So I’ll just see where everything goes and enjoy photography for what it is.  Fun.

14OCT2022 – Coming Up for Air

Today the younger cohort of the grandson army invaded the Compound with ruthless abandon and bottomless appetites.  So basically, all writing efforts were abandoned and we settled into a format of games (chess, billiards and scrabble), junk food (chocolate chip pancakes, mac and cheese and ice cream sandwiches) and Dinotasia.  And it was a lot of fun.  The little guys are getting alarmingly good at pool and chess.  I find myself feeling more and more like a trapped beast.  Their mockery of my performance in these games of skill is becoming crueler.  But I soldiered on pretending that I was just toying with them.

Camera Girl spent her time in the kitchen whipping up breakfast, lunch and endless snacks to keep these ravenous locusts from attacking the woodwork and linens.  When their mom showed up to cart them off, I collapsed into a pile of shattered nerves and vowed that when they show up tomorrow morning that I will shackle them to the wall of the deepest ancestral catacomb and promptly wall them up.  Well, we’ll see.  Maybe we’ll skip the Dinotasia.  Tomorrow there’s a local soccer game we’re attending with the littlest guy and then they’re back with their siblings for whatever weekend events their parents are presiding over.  But I like when we get them in age groups.  The older and younger cohorts no longer overlap in tastes and activities.  In fact, I suspect I’m no longer grown up enough for the older kids.  They’ve outgrown Dinotopia and I’ve started to balk at some of the Marvel Comic Universe that is their staple diet.  I’m going to have to pick and choose to find stuff for us to watch together.  But we can start thinking about ways to treat them as adults soon.  College age grandchildren is something new for me.  But we’ll figure it out.  Maybe I can get advice on computer coding problems I’m having.  It’s sort of a return on investment for the forty-five years I’ve invested in this social experiment.  Am I asking too much?

So, I’m way behind my reading for the day and I’ll see what’s worth writing about.  What is interesting is a sense of panic seems to be slowly oozing from behind the façade of the fake news industrial complex.  It’s as if they’re slowly signaling to the true believers to prepare themselves for the fact that maybe the abortion crusade isn’t going to save them from the Mid-Term wave that seem to be regenerating.  For all of the happy talk about Joe Biden’s renewed popularity, inflation is ravaging the household budgets of the working and middle classes and urban crime is frightening the pants off of even the suburbanites who live within fifty miles of the dumpster fires that used to be our cities.

Well, hang in there, folks.  I’ll be up to snuff soon and full of annoying opinions and outrageous pronouncements.  I’ve got a new movie review and some other stuff coming up and I’ll astound you with my sagacity and perspicacity.  And if not those then some other -city words that I haven’t looked up in the thesaurus yet.  To be continued.

What Effect Is the US Mid-Term Elections Having on the Ukraine War?

I have a feeling that the upcoming US elections are having an effect on both sides of the Ukraine war.  It seems that the Americans are trying to provoke the Russians into a very violent reaction before the Mid-Terms in order to change the focus of the American electorate away from the economy and other domestic problems and onto the Russians.  And unless I’m mistaken, I think the Russians are doing everything they can to resist this provocation for the same reason.

I think the Russians are savvy enough about previous “wag the dog” incidents to recognize what’s going on.  And whereas they cannot completely ignore things like the Nord Stream sabotage or the attack on the Crimean bridge it strikes me that they are being surprisingly subdued in their responses to these provocations.  And I think that’s smart.  Once the election is over Biden is stuck with the result and I don’t think he’ll be as sanguine about the Ukraine war.  A month from now it’s going to start getting much colder in Europe and the lack of affordable fuel is going to become a big deal.

If my theory is correct as soon as the elections are over the Russians are going to take the gloves off and pummel the Ukrainian infrastructure and cause havoc.  Attacks on electrical generation and transmission equipment and other utilities will begin showing the Ukrainians that war against a powerful neighbor is an unpleasant reality.  Spending a winter without heat, lights and running water is a pretty miserable existence.  In addition, the Russians have not staged a major artillery strike on Kiev since June.  If the capitol city becomes a major target for attacks, it will have a major impact on Ukrainian public opinion about continuing the war.  It might even turn the people against Zelensky.

And then there is the United States.  With OPEC decreasing output by two million barrels a day of oil the cost of fuel will be more than just an annoyance.  It will be a drain on household budgets that will leave families struggling to get by.  This will worsen the economy that is already in terrible shape.  And when the recession starts adding millions of Americans to the unemployment lines, they’re not going to care about helping the Ukraine war.  They’re going to be angry and scared.  And that should be about the time that Washington will tell Zelensky to start talking to the Russians about peace.

I could be all wrong about the Russian restraint being about our Mid-Terms but I seriously doubt it.  I think this whole war is a manufactured product of the CIA and the State Department.  And there is an atmosphere that pervades the whole operation that smells like a catastrophe about to blow up in their faces.  They’ve upped the ante every time things have gone wrong and it seems like we’re nearing a breaking point.  Assuming they don’t intend to lob a nuke on their own I think they may have overestimated their ability to stampede the Russians into some horrendous over reaction.  The pipeline and bridge sabotage are the latest provocations but the Russians seem to be maintaining a proportional response to each of these attacks.

There’s only a month to go but that’s plenty of time for me to be shown I’m wrong or for the Biden team to go over the top on their activities.  For everyone’s sake I hope they don’t get the reaction they’re looking for.

Caveman Ancestors and Woke Politics

After yesterday’s travel, today was a day of rest.  I decided to look around for something fun to think about.  I found an article from August that explored the relation of archaic humans to us and to each other.  A lot of it was a rehash of discoveries made over the last few years in Siberia concerning Neanderthals and Denisovans.  If you’ve read about this, DNA analysis has shown that several of the fossils they found have mixed Neanderthal and Denisovan parentage.  Even this discovery alone is revolutionary.  But the story gets more and more complicated.  Apparently modern humans cross-bred with both of these hominid cousins back before they went extinct.  Apparently, all non-African humans have small but significant amounts of both Neanderthal and Denisovan genetic heritage.  This is due to the fact that both these species left Africa before the dawn of Homo sapiens.  Modern humans caught up with them in Eurasia.  And also interestingly, there are three separate populations of Denisovans and they have each interacted with humans differently.  One group has a more significant genetic residue among Australian aborigines and neighboring islanders than with any other human grouping.  While the genetic trace of another Denisovan population is detected more strongly among East Asians.

Then there are the other archaic humans who have not yet been shown to have left any mark on the human genome but survived to very recently, barely missing historic times.  The diminutive species Homo floresiensis and Homo luzonensis lived in Southeast Asia and may have survived until as recently as ten thousand years ago.  No DNA evidence has been recovered yet for these species but the way things have been developing I would be surprised if it didn’t.

All of this stuff is fascinating just as science.  But what it also does is open a window on the complicated history of the human family.  By the standards of current biological science humanity is a series of populations that include varying genetic donations from different species.  At the very least we are a hybrid species.  And this is based on just the first few years of ancient DNA analysis.  And if we were unafraid of outraging the always outraged, we would refer to human races as subspecies as we do with every snake, frog or mouse species that has local variants.  After all every hill in a rain forest is allowed to have a separate frog subspecies based on color or how many spots they sport on their backs.  Either that or we should go the other way and eliminate subspecies from these other animals and just group all these creatures together.  But that would wreak havoc with the endangered species grift that the government uses to restrict people from draining the puddles in their yards for fear of wiping out the nineteen-spot salamander that lives adjacent to the eighteen-spot salamander in the next puddle.

But I digress.  The point is that humans are in no way, shape or form homogeneous.  Even in highly isolated populations people are individuals.  And they differ in a million ways.  Even within a family someone is smarter, taller, stronger, funnier or happier.  The bigger the family, the more obvious this is.

The fact that we haven’t been able to come to terms with this at the global level is pathetic.  This whole idea of equity is obviously dishonest.  The idea that somehow a secret society of white supremacists is keeping down everyone else is moronic.  What has happened is through propaganda and reverse racism we’ve disincentivized the under-class from applying themselves at honest work.  The fact that there are plenty of African Americans succeeding in various professions disproves the white supremacy trope.  And allowing this lie to exist is horribly destructive.

It occurred to me that if we found some corner of the Amazonian jungle where by some miracle of fate a last village of Denisovans had survived in isolation we would try to force them to become doctors, lawyers, engineers and tech company CEOs in the carefully calculated demographic ratio.  Even if they couldn’t fathom what a CEO was.

There’s a blindness that I assume is intentional.  And now we’ve extended it to such absurd ideas as allowing men to compete in women’s sports to keep up the pretense that transgenderism is a real thing.  Well, anyway, it was a good read.  Back to the salt mine.

Another Update on the Hilarious NYC Migrant Bus Service

As Texas Governor Abbott continues to bus illegal aliens to NYC and DC the squealing from NYC government officials gets louder.

My favorite quotes:

“He’s weaponizing asylum seekers,” Manuel Castro, commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs said. “It is shameful, and it is our moral obligation to condemn the use of human beings for political purposes.”

New York officials said this week that the city is using 14 hotels to provide housing to the new arrivals.

Castro was not the only official in Mayor Eric Adams’s administration to blast Abbott. City Comptroller Brad Lander said Abbott’s action are “inhumane” and “disgusting.”

As the saying goes, “You know you’re over the target when you start taking flack.  I only wish he’d start sending some to Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.

This is the gift that keeps on giving.  It’s not only useful and smart, it’s hilarious.  Hopefully a goodly percentage of the refugees are violent offenders and weirdos of various descriptions.  New York needs the most exciting new residents to keep things interesting.

Bravo, governor Abbott, bravo.

A Cool Drink of Water

And just like that fall happens.  It’s been raining all day and the thermometer has barely cracked seventy degrees.  And people put away their shorts and pull out a sweatshirt and air conditioners go into storage and soup returns to the menu.  Once the kids are back in school adults start talking about how expensive food and gas and everything is.

For the last few weeks, Democrats have been hailing the “Inflation Reduction” law and finding polls that claim that Joe Biden isn’t the most unpopular politician since Caligula and making believe gasoline has always been $4 a gallon.  But now that the silly season is coming to a close people start looking at the bills they piled up during the vacation and remembering who’s responsible for their poverty.

We’ve gotten a couple of inches of rain so far today and the ground is soaking it up like a dry sponge and you can almost hear the earthworms and the mushrooms and the grass roots sighing with relief and drinking in the water from every pore.  There are these parasitic plants called Indian Pipe that live underground in the roots of trees and wait for the heat to end and the rain to activate them.  Then they sprout up and flower.  Since they’re parasites they don’t need chlorophyll and so they’re white instead of green.  Very strange looking things.  I try to photograph them each year and so far, they haven’t appeared.  But now I bet I’ll see them sprout.  It’s funny how these little natural events become a part of your life.

Monotropa uniflora, Indian pipe, ghost plant, corpse plant, Sony A7 III with Minolta 200mm f\4 Macro lens

The fallout from Liz Cheney Ejection Day continues apace with even the Democrats agreeing that no one can actually think of a reason to keep her around after she’s unemployed.  I feel like it’s up to the Democrats to give her a goodbye party and a gold watch or something and then shove her onto a slow train going nowhere.  I can see her standing on the back of the train looking sad and morose and waving slowly as the train pulls out of the station in DC headed for Loserville.  It’s quite touching.

Now that the rule of law has ended and the kids don’t have to go back to school anymore in the cities I wonder if there is any change in the type and amount of crime that goes on after the summer.  I wonder if they stop playing the knockout game and go straight to knifing and shooting their victims in September.  It’s obviously an important question to know the answer to when you’re purchasing your fall wardrobe.  I guess it could be as simple as helmet/no helmet.  I suppose body armor should be a constant but it’s so darn heavy that you might want to skip it in the hot summer months when blows to the head are more or less standard operating procedure for your young urban thug.  I mean, no one likes to be overdressed.

And speaking of urban crime Lori Lightfoot is up for re-election in a little over six months and I’m wondering how does that work?  With all the people who were able to flee already gone maybe at this point the street gangs can control the vote in Chicago.  And since Lightfoot has made them all-powerful maybe it’s in their interest to make sure she wins re-election in perpetuity.  If you think about it, it’s a pretty sweet deal for both sides of that arrangement.  Of course, it’s pretty close to hell on earth for any law-abiding residents but how many of those can there be left?  Half a million, maybe a million?  That’s practically a rounding error in a country as big as this.  And they say adversity builds character, so there you go.

The voters have the next few months to contemplate what life in these United States will be like under the Democrats and decide if maybe they want to change it up.  It seems like it should be a slam dunk to me.  But I guess I’m not a woke millennial or a career woman still wearing a COVID mask and looking for the government to protect her from Donald Trump and viruses.  Perhaps there just aren’t enough people left who think like me out there anymore.

Well anyway, listening to the rain on the metal roof outside my kitchen is soothing.  And knowing I don’t have to water any plants is great.  We picked about twenty pounds of butternut squash yesterday and I bet Camera Girl will makes some chicken soup with it soon so life is good.

Goodbye summer heat.  I think I’ll celebrate fall by watching a summer movie.  I think I’ll put on Rear Window.

The Wolfman (2010) – A Horror Movie Review

The 2010 film, the Wolfman was made by Universal as a remake of their 1941 film The Wolf Man.

(Spoiler Alert – Skip down to last paragraph to avoid spoilers and read recommendation)

Benicio del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot.  Lawrence left his home in England after the death of his mother under mysterious circumstances.  His father Sir John Talbot (played by Anthony Hopkins) still lives at the ancestral home with his other son Ben and Ben’s fiancée Gwen Conliffe (played by Emily Blunt).  Lawrence is contacted by Gwen and asked to return home after Ben disappears.

When Lawrence arrives, he discovers that Ben’s body has been discovered horribly mutilated as if by some enormous predator.  Rumors in the village point to some involvement by a gypsy camp nearby.  Lawrence promises Gwen that he will investigate and find Ben’s killer.

Lawrence goes to the village and the locals tell him that the grisly killing is like one that occurred twenty-five years ago and was attributed by the locals to a werewolf.  Other villagers are convinced that a trained bear that the gypsies keep is responsible.  Lawrence determines to go to the gypsy camp to investigate but his father warns him that the full moon is that night and he should stay home.

Lawrence goes to the camp and the wolf-like creature goes on a spree killing and maiming gypsies and villagers alike.  Lawrence chases after the creature with a rifle but eventually the creature attacks him and tears his neck severely.  A gypsy woman named Maleva stitches up his wound while another tells her to let him die because he is now destined to become a werewolf too.

Lawrence is sent home and makes a miraculous recovery from his wounds.  During his convalescence Inspector Francis Aberline of Scotland Yard (played by Hugo Weaving) interviews Lawrence and hints that based on Lawrence’s childhood bout with mental illness (his father had had him committed to an asylum for a year) that perhaps he is a suspect in the horrific attacks.

And in the village, news that Lawrence’s wounds had healed unnaturally well, convinced the people that he was about to become a werewolf himself at the next full moon.  When they come to drag Lawrence away by force, Sir John shows up with a shot gun and forces them off the estate.

But sure enough the next night is the full moon and Lawrence makes the metamorphosis into a wolf man and goes on a horrendous rampage killing and tearing to pieces the villagers who have come out to catch and kill him.  Aberline is witness to some of the killings and the next morning when Lawrence wakes up outside the manor house soaked in blood, the inspector and the local police capture Lawrence and bring him to the same insane asylum he was committed to as a child.

There he is treated with shock treatments using ice water and electricity.  At the end of a month Sir John visits him and tells him his own story.  Twenty-five years earlier Sir John was bitten by a werewolf and became such a creature.  He was able to avoid the monthly murdering by having his servant Singh lock him up each full moon in a reinforced cell.

He admits to the murder of both his wife and his son Ben.  And gives Lawrence a straight razor in case he cannot face the murderous life he is faced with and would prefer suicide.  That night is the full moon and Lawrence once again transforms into a beast, breaks out of the asylum and goes on another killing spree through London.  In the morning he goes to the home of Gwen and tells her of what he knows of Ben’s murder and his father’s guilt.  He plans to kill his father and then himself to end the curse.  Gwen tries to dissuade him from suicide but he heads home.

That night Lawrence confronts his father in their home and the two werewolves battle.  During the fight the manor house catches fire.  At first Sir John has the best of the fight but finally Lawrence heaves his foe into the fire which weakens him enough to allow his son to decapitate him.

Following this battle both Gwen and Inspector Aberline confront the surviving beast.  Aberline is wounded by Lawrence but is spared when the wolf chases after Gwen into the night.  When he finally catches her and pins her to the ground, she is able to awaken his humanity and he spares her.  And while he is distracted by the approaching villagers Gwen shoots him with a pistol.  Lawrence returns to human form and before he dies, he thanks Gwen for releasing him from his curse.  Inspector Aberline witnesses Lawrence’s death and it’s obvious that he knows his own fate is sealed when next the moon is full.

Alright, here’s my take.  When you go to a movie called the “The Wolfman” you’re not going to get Shakespeare.  In fact, you’re not even going to get drama.  You’re going to get a fairy tale.  And that’s exactly what you get here.  What you want is good special effects, lots of blood and gore and some good guys to pity and some bad guys to hiss at.  It would be nice if the script isn’t too silly and the actors not completely inept.  And in those particulars, I think this picture is above par for the genre.  After all, Anthony Hopkins can make even nonsense sound interesting.  And the rest of the cast do their best.  As a remake of the 1941 film, I think this movie is quite close.  Benicio del Toro approaches the part in a similar vein to how Lon Chaney Jr. did.  Anthony Hopkins and Claude Rains are both distinguished English actors that project intelligence into their characters.  And the atmosphere of the film hits all the right notes.  This movie lost money so it’s been declared a bomb.  I disagree.  It’s a highly successful fairy tale.  Of course, you have to like fairy tales to enjoy it.  I recommend this to fans of horror movies.